I Can’t Do This, God
(excerpt from an article written by John Bloom, Staff Writer, desiringGod.org)
Paul, who we all know had many admirable strengths, understood this profound truth and got to the place where he could say,
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9–10)
Don’t hear this as if it were from someone so immensely gifted that he’s out of touch with sorts of humbling weaknesses we mere mortals deal with. We likely barely grasp how much Paul’s various weaknesses were exposed and how many seemingly impossible deprivations, heartbreaks, and failed attempts he actually experienced. What we do know is that Jesus said right after his conversion, “I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:16).
“It’s through our weaknesses, more than our strengths, that God demonstrates that he exists.”
Paul’s suffering and weakness-exposures weren’t punitive because he had previously persecuted Christians. Jesus had paid for that. Rather, they were a significant way in which God’s strength was revealed to the world — so much so, that Paul became a glad boaster in what made him look weak. Because in his weaknesses, people saw that the only strength he had came from God.
Why You Are Weak
That’s why we have our weaknesses. They are, perhaps more than our strengths, what qualify us to serve where God places us in his kingdom. And nothing teaches us prayerful dependence like the desperation that comes from being assigned to do what you can’t do without God.
Humans are impressed by the whole range of human strengths. But God is only impressed by one human strength: strong faith.Because faith is a dependence on God’s strength. Which is why, when God calls us into our various and diverse roles in his kingdom, he makes sure that our callings offer plenty of opportunities to expose our weaknesses. The more we understand why, the more these opportunities become occasions for joy instead of shame.